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#2201981 - 12/23/13 05:33 PM Piano arrangement of a piece I wrote for string quartet
Steve Chandler Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 3085
Loc: Urbandale, Iowa
Hi All,

I've transcribed a movement I wrote for string quartet for piano. I must say the process of arranging this piece was harder than I thought it would be. It relies on lots of sustained notes (something string instruments do well but pianos not so much) and some of the harmony is widely spread making fitting it into two hands a challenge. There's one spot that I can barely manage and the shifting harmony makes using the pedal a bad idea. Still the piano does do something better than most string quartets, intonation (too bad it's equal temperament). laugh

Sadly this piece hasn't been well performed by any string quartet so if anyone knows one that would like to give it a go I'd be thrilled.

But enough of that I love the piece, it describes the feelings of falling in love. The chromatic middle section is dizzying in its harmonic shifts. I hope you enjoy. Sheet music is available.

https://soundcloud.com/pantonality/falling-in-love


Edited by Steve Chandler (12/23/13 05:40 PM)

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#2202106 - 12/24/13 12:56 AM Re: Piano arrangement of a piece I wrote for string quartet [Re: Steve Chandler]
stalefleas Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/16/13
Posts: 264
This is really nice. I really like the opening/closing theme.

A couple criticisms: The first key change sounds like something out of Bach mixed with progressive rock, and felt stylistically out of place. The middle section has some very nice moments, but is weaker than the main theme.

Some other things I liked: Very nice harmonies. I really like the use of these extended, jazzy kinds of chords outside of a jazz context. There are some very neat chord changes in the middle section that sound like a blend of romantic and jazz styles without seeming like they "belong" to either, of that makes any sense.

I would very much like to hear this played on strings, it is too bad you have not found performers who have done this piece justice.

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#2202340 - 12/24/13 11:59 AM Re: Piano arrangement of a piece I wrote for string quartet [Re: Steve Chandler]
Steve Chandler Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 3085
Loc: Urbandale, Iowa
Hi Stalefleas,

Thank you for your comments. I shouldn't have to explain myself, the music should stand on its own so in that respect it's less successful than I would prefer, but doing so my illustrate a point I made in another thread about how the intent of a piece informs the execution thereof.

The piece depicts the act of choosing to romantically love another. I believe there is an aspect of choice involved in the act. We may not be able to help who we feel attraction for, but getting deeply involved is a choice. However, once that choice is made made there is a sense of euphoria and also vulnerability. The choice itself is a watershed event in one's life.

The opening theme expresses the beauty of feeling affection. All of the significant harmonic shifts are intended to express the combination of euphoria and vulnerability involved in choosing to become romantically attached to another. If anything it is a moment of weakness and depicting that is what the middle section is all about. (if that makes any sense)

I'm still trying to figure out what/where the first key change is.

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#2202485 - 12/24/13 05:41 PM Re: Piano arrangement of a piece I wrote for string quartet [Re: Steve Chandler]
Tim Adrianson Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/10
Posts: 1426
A very straightforward, accessible composition, Steve. For me, it comes of as a song written by a sophisticated "tunesmith", such as Stephen Sondheim, Billy Strayhorn, or Leonard Bernstein. The opening and closing would be singable with moderate effort, but the "bridge" is quite complex and would require a lot of study to get it right. That's what makes it more interesting -- the ambivalence and mixture of emotion that results from not-so-obvious harmonic and melodic choices in an extended development section. I definitely can hear the string "colors" in my mind's- eye, and I believe you could attain a very effective piano arrangement with the more subtle voicings associated with an acoustic piano. Briefly put, very effective; thanks for sharing it!

Oh, and a Merry Christmas to you and yours!

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#2202823 - 12/25/13 03:30 PM Re: Piano arrangement of a piece I wrote for string quartet [Re: Steve Chandler]
stalefleas Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/16/13
Posts: 264
Originally Posted By: Steve Chandler

I'm still trying to figure out what/where the first key change is.


I mean the transition into the middle section.

I like your concept, by the way, I think it informs the piece. That's what liner notes are for!

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